Growing Veggies In Shady Spaces

Simone - Picnics and Paddocks is talking about growing Beetroot, Carrot, Celery, Lettuce, Silverbeet from Northland

Garden in progress

Often when we’re planning a vegetable garden we’re told that we need a position with full sun, but what about those of us that have a garden with shade or partial shade? What can we grow there?

One of our longest gardens is shady until late morning, but then has full sun for the rest of the day. Because of this I decided to start doing a bit of research. Here are a number of edibles (vegetables and herbs) that will happily grow in partial shade.

  • Mesculin, Mirzuna, Rocket and Mustard Greens. These four only require 3-4 hours of sunlight per day.

  • Lettuce. Loose leaf varieties do best in the shade e.g. Oakleaf, Drunken Women and Cut and Come Again. They require at least 3 hours of sunlight per day.

  • Spinach. Another vegetable that only requires 3 hours of sunlight per day. Mine has already bolted in the garden with full sun so I’ll definitely be planting it somewhere with partial shade next time.

  • Kale. Kale is very prone to white fly. Planting it in the shade helps. It requires 3 hours of sunlight and a gardener that will love it more than I do! You’ll never find coriander or kale in my garden (by choice). I’m pretty sure I have kale or Cavolo Nero in my garden at the moment from a salad mix type pack. The only thing that’s going to be good for is the bunnies. Nope, not even kale chips are to my liking. The only kale recipe I’ve LOVED was one that went around on Facebook a little while ago. It went something like this… Cook in olive oil and then scrap into the rubbish bin haha.

  • Cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli. These vegetables do a lot better during the winter months so seeing that it’s a good idea to plant in part shade over the warmer months made sense.

  • Beans and Peas. Both of these love cooler areas, but do require 4-5 hours of sun a day.

  • Root vegetables e.g. carrots, beetroot etc. These vegetables require more sun than the leafy crops, needing at least 5 hours a day.

  • Celery. Celery will do okay with only 1-2 hours of sunlight per day!

  • Silverbeet. I’ve just planted out my Bright Lights Silverbeet in our partially shaded garden so will keep you updated with how it does. So far, so good.

  • Rhubarb. Rhubarb will do okay with very little sunlight. You may notice that the stems don’t go that bright cherry red though. It will cope with as little as 1-2 hours during the day during summer and autumn.

  • Herbs that will do okay with partial shade include – parsley, mint, lovage, lemon balm and coriander.

Currently in our garden with partial shade we’ve got carrots, radishes, beetroot, lettuce, silverbeet and peas growing. I’ll do an update in the weeks to come to let you all how they’re coming along.

Which vegetables or herbs do you grow in areas with partial shade?

Photo is of our Shiraz Peas and Golden Sweet Peas starting to form perfect little pods.